Building and Rigging the Windwalker

In the Richelieu River - 2002

Construction Photos - 1997 - 2003

In the yard at Marina Gosselin, St. Paul de l'Ile aux Noix - 2002

I took these photos inside the boat in January 2003. There is a lot of interior finish work yet to be done that can be accomplished through the next year, a never ending project.

Joseph Nicolosi, builder of the Spirit hulls The Fwd Berth - Sail Stowage Area
Port Wing Berth - Stowage Area Aft St'b'd Wing Berth - Stowage Area Aft
The Head Basin on port side The Pot Behind The Door
Looking out the hatch at - 11°F snow A view of the galley

A couple of days later it was -41°F and I returned to Idaho to begin preparation and to build what I could there of the rigging and mast assembly.

Rigging The Spirit of Freedom - 2003
Pictures will be added as building progresses

At The Ranch In North Idaho

Shop setup to taper mast parts,
10 foot extension tables each end
85 Mast Gluing Clamps,
Nate cleaned and drilled them
Big end of Mast Jack,
Showing birdsmouth construction
The Mast Jack Glued.
And we had glue all over.
Rough Finished Mast Jack Mast Rigging Pieces Wrapped Ready to Ship
And Mom - (G'ma Hardison) - inspecting and approving my work.
Another View of the Pieces
The Mast Crutch is 10' long.
Pin Rail and Belaying Pins and A piece of
Fawn Child Woman's Scratch Apple Pie!!!!

I have built the jigs and fixtures for tapering and scarfing the 40 foot long mast pieces, which will be done back at St. Paul, Quebec in May. I was able to do these short pieces here at the ranch, the Mast Crutch, Mast Jack, Mast Shroud Spreaders, Mizzen Sail self-tending boom, and the Pin Rail and Belaying Pins ..

Ready to leave North Idaho --

The Subaru loaded to leave for Quebec
Mom turns 90 June 1st and I turn 70 August 8th
-- We have known and loved each other a long time --

April 6 -- Left the ranch about 10am, headed to Quebec. Arrived at St. Constant and Joseph's home the afternoon of the 10th, after 5 long days of traveling. Spent an hour or so with Joseph and Denise, then went to the Riviere motel in St. Jean again for the night, as it was freezing.

April 11 -- Met Joseph at the boat about 9am after a good breakfast a the local restaurant, and proceeded to unload the Subaru. It offered up a sigh of relief. The first day and night on the boat... cold, but Joseph had brought me an electric heater and a shop vacuum. Most of the day was spent warming the interior, organizing gear, getting the computer set up, and breaking ice and sucking melt water from the bilge that had entered during the winter from the leaking engine hatch. The first day of melting yielded about 30 gallons of water.

April 12-18 -- Set up the table saw and benches, and rain started. Melting and sucking bilges. Freezing at night out but OK inside. Spent most of my time engineering the hatches, schematics, and sucking bilges. The water tank fittings had been removed and the tanks were full of ice too. Took out the tanks the 17th and turned them upside down on the aft deck to drain. Went to town Friday, bought some plywood and the worst looking wood I have seen -- the Canadians ought to be ashamed of themselves -- to build a new engine hatch.
April 19 -- Saturday. Rained again. More water in the bilge.
April 20 -- Cut the pieces and started gluing the engine hatch. Dried and cleaned the bilge, installed the tanks. Installed a Water Fill pipe and the fittings, but could not finish the piping as I couldn't force the hose onto the fittings under the cabin sole, even softening it in boiling water.
April 21 -- Finished the gluing, routing, filling and sanding of the hatch. Installed the rest of the hoses by heating in the coffee pot and using a paprika spice bottle to swage out and form the hose ends, letting them cool on the bottle. From there it was a snap.
April 22 -- Raining again, with snow forecast for tomorrow... Did a NO-NO -- Fiberglassed the engine hatch at 50 degree temp and raining... made the mix of resin and catalyst HOT.. and got it done, although after it had partially set I carried the hatch up into the cabin for final curing. Installed the hatch at dark to close off for snow forecast for the night and tomorrow.
April 23 -- And it did snow...but it didn't stick...went to town and bought glass for the windows in the cabin hatch doors, molding, fasteners, etc. ... spent most of the day designing and fiddling with ideas.
April 24 - April 30 -- Had a few good days, spent making cabin hatch doors, ripping out the old navigation station, and started the cabinetry to make it the way I designed it. Went to Plattsburg, NY, and got a meeting on one of the days it was raining. Water in the boatyard was turned back on, filled the tanks, nice to have water on board for washing and coffee.
May 1-5 -- Assembling and installing Nav Station cabinetry.
May 6-7 -- Finished wiring the control panel and installed it. Joseph definitely did not understand electricity, so I ripped out all the old boat wiring and started fresh, saved the main battery cables, shortened them and dressed them neat with new terminals, and the rest is new, all nice, neat and tidy.
May 8 -- Made a hell of a mess in the cabin, routing the overhead beams, sanding and filling surfaces in prep for painting, took all day, and 2 1/2 hours to clean up after myself.
May 9-12 -- Painting and varnishing in the cabin while it rains outside.. it looks good.. still have a few days to go doing the little detail work, it takes forever..still have two more coats of warnish to go on the natural wood appearance areas. Berth areas need the same treatment as the main cabin, and they will take 3 or 4 days apiece, and will create that much more mess and work. I have been here a month and have accomplished a lot in spite of the weather being bad 4 days or more each week.
May 13 - 29 -- Raining 4-5 days out of each week, finished painting the main cabin, and the rest of the main hull, one coat, shaping up real nice. Finished moving and constructing a new cabin hatch so the mast can be stepped on centerline. Removed and closed off the forward deck hatch, so the beams fir the jib and main forstays can be installed. Installed the bilge pumps and thru-hull fittings. About the 18th I got word that Mom had been mauled and badly bitten by the neighbor's dogs, a rotweiler and another mixed breed, she is recovering in the hospital after surgery. I got tickets to fly out of Montreal to Spokane the morning of the 31st, to be there for her 90th birthday Sunday, June 1. The mast material should arrive shortly after my return from Idaho. With all the delays, it looks like the end of July before completion.. but that will be the best time to make the northern route across the North Atlantic. I got word the 22nd that the check I had mailed to Timberwright April 9th for the mast lumber finally made it through screw-up of the Canadian mail, a week and a half after I had mailed the second check. Don Pearson of Timberwright tells me they are expediting the order, milling was complete last week, now in the drying shed.
May 30 -- Securing to leave for Idaho
May 31 -- Up at 5, headed for Montreal and Dorval Airport -- Good flights, airtime 5.5 hours, long walks in airports, especially Minneapolis. Janice picked me up and we went to ranch then to visit Mom in Hospital..

May 30 -- Cleaned Boat cabin and preparation to fly to Idaho for G'ma Hardison's 90th Birthday.
May 31 - June 3 -- I flew back home to Idaho for Mom's 90th Birthday from Montreal to Spokane via Minneapolis. Good smooth flights above the clouds all the way. 5 1/2 hours total flight time. Mom's 90th was somewhat iffy about 2 weeks ago when she was viciously attacked by two dogs, a pitbull rotweiler somethingelse dog, and a bordercollie dingo crossbreed, that bit out big chunks of her legs, one the size of a cellphone. She is recovering okay in the hospital after surgery.. We had a great 90th gathering Sunday, June 1st, of all the neighbors and family, 120 or so, at the old Pleasant View 2 room schoolhouse that helped Mom come alive again and put a bunch of sparkle in her eyes and in her grin again. She did not want to leave and return to the hospital.... We don't quite understand God's purpose in the above, except for now it has brought us all closer together.... And in the last couple of days the therapist actually had her up and walking and sure as shootin' did a few dance steps. Mom is one tough old gal, through all of it never once even wimpered, and when Dan got there to help her, she was beating hell out of one of the dogs with a rock... The shame of it all is that it will definitely change her life style and slow her down some, but life continues on in love and peace.
June 2 -- visited Mom and family, spent night at Janice's, so she could take me to the airport in the morning.
June 3 -- Airport at 11, spent a few minutes with Susan, she had to run to catch flight, mine was on time, leaving at 12:20. The return flight was fine, clear a good part of the way, watching the countryside pass in review. Touched down in Montreal at 10:20pm on schedule and arrived at the boat just after midnight. Warmed it up and sacked out.

I removed the Navigation Station shelves to build new drawers, shelves and power panel. The New Navigation Station,
cluttered with tools.
The cabin hatch is moved
so mast can step on centerline.
The Hatch from the outside.
Completed Hatch, minus paint. Letting In Some Daylight!
A View of the galley area
with new cabinets in place.
View forward through the lavatory into the foreberth. Queen size berth to st'b'd.

June 4 -- Catching up.. Ran out of propane, none to make morning coffee. Went to Rouse's Point to fill the jugs and returned after having coffee and a great breakfast at the Old Tyme Cafe. Spent the rest of the day making a permanent installation of the propane jugs and other miscellaneous.
June 5 -- Rained during the night and drizzled off and on all day. Varnished second coat on the areas that needed it. Made a cutout in the cabin sole for handy access to the cabin bilge pump. Played too many games of Hearts, winning all but one.
June 6 -- Started chasing a leak, found plywood delaminated in cockpit, started tearout.. marked out new locations for Engine Control panel, fathometer, compass and pinrail on Sta 13 back bulkhead.
June 7 -- June 13 -- New wheel box, beam facing, stripped cockpit fiberglass to re-do... raining again, tarped over...need 3 days of sun to dry out and fiberglass again...
June 14 -- Soggy -- everything in the cockpit damp or soaked. Installed Engine control panel, etc. on the back bulkhead. Tried some sanding, but the moisture ate the sandpaper.
June 15 -- Woke early, looks like a drying out day...

Between June 15 and August and again until October the log was not kept. Too many other things to be done.

A winter freeze crack repair to the ama
There were about 30 freeze crack repairs.
I had to completely strip the cockpit,
re-build and re-fiberglass it.
The cockpit rebuilt and painted with
new pedestal for steering and throttle,.
The hulls painted. 11 gallons inside and out
--- and not finished yet.
My ex-wife Janice came in late June to
help with construction and stayed a month.
The name "Windwalker" on the bow.
Atha is Sanscrit for NOW
and the name of the research foundation.
Lettering the name on the stern. Stern lettering finished with
Port of Call Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Loading on the trailer to haul
the Windwalker to the water.
Moving out!!
It has been on the hard for too long.
The 20 ton crane has it in the air! The crane is rotating and
swinging the boat toward the water.
Ahhh!! That feels good!!!
In the water!!!
The Maiden Voyage out to the berth space.
Berthed!! Janice on deck with the dinghy Me Too
Good Friends Blad and Judi Hansen
leaving with the Freya bound for Nova Scotia.
Beginning the mast construction.
The mast cheeks scarfed and glued to
make two 42 foot long 1x10s.
Beginning the mast internal pieces gluing. All the internal pieces glued in place and
the left and right halves finished.
The left and right halves final mated,
glued and clamped.
The mast rough shaped.
A lot of planing and sanding and rasping.
Fitting fittings.
Masthead and mast foot fittings shown.
Finished Shaped and Painted!
A magnificent stick!
Rigging the fittings, cables, furlers, jack, crutch, spreaders, lights and halyards on mast. The mast was hoisted onto the boat and installed late in the day Oct 9, ready to leave Canada in the morning for the USofA.

I left Marina Gosselin at St. Paul-de-L'Ile-aux-Noix, Quebec the morning of Oct 10 at 9:00am with ice on the decks. I cleared the railroad swing bridge a few miles above the border an hour later on the next to the last day it would be open before closing for the winter. There is still a lot of construction and final repairs to be accomplished when the boat gets to Florida, and equipment to be bought and installed.

In the USofA at Lighthouse Marina, Rouse's Point, NY, Oct 10, 2003

Love and Peace, Barefoot

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